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Re: Frills & spills

Pluto77189@aol.com wrote:
>  Warthogs'swill do it, I've seen a lion mortally wounded by one, even though 
> te rest of the pride killed the pig...

I've seen some very impressive footage of a leopard stalking a warthog
on a river bank. What it didn't know was that another warthog had
spotted it (no pun intended), and proceeded to charge the leopard from
behind. The leopard was sent flying into the air in spectacular fashion,
while both animals escaped.

Most horned (or tusked) animals will only use their horns in
interspecific defense if the size difference between the aggressor and
the persecuted is not too great. Gazelles will charge jackals, but not
cheetahs. Cape buffalos will sometimes charge lions, and sometimes not
(their relative 'damage quotients' must be close to equal), but they'll
never charge an elephant. Rhinos will charge almost anything except for
an adult elephant (but I've seen footage of them harassing baby

Perhaps the length and 'pointedness' of some ceratopian horns was an
attempt to bring their 'damage quotients' (I'm sure I made that up) a
bit closer to that of a tyrannosaur. If they were display structures
only, then there wouldn't be any need for such sharp horns. In fact,
broad body parts tend to make better displays than long thin ones -
chamaeleons usually use bold colour patterns flashed on their broad
flanks as their main method of intimidation.


Dann Pigdon                   Australian Dinosaurs:
GIS / Archaeologist         http://www.geocities.com/dannsdinosaurs
Melbourne, Australia        http://www.alphalink.com.au/~dannj/